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Watercolor Study: Upper Duck Pond

Watercolor Sketch:  Upper Duck Pond

Watercolor & Ink Study
Moleskin Journal.
Image 4×7
Drawing Talent Series

I’ve been itching to do watercolor studies of local places.  Why haven’t I?  Priorities!

But, yesterday an opportunity presented itself and I jumped on it!  My husband and I visited his favorite park – anywhere!  Lithia Park in Ashland, OR.  It was a lovely morning and I was happy to take the opportunity to sit down and study the local environment.

I did a study of what is called “the upper duck pond”.  Yes, there is a lower duck pond.  The upped duck pond is bigger and has turtles in addition to the ducks.  As I was working, people walk by, sit on the bench or not and wander off.

I find this type of watercolor painting thoroughly engaging.  I like to equate it to running on ice.  My focus is intense as I try to capture an impression before the light changes.  It’s all about making the paint dance.

Recently I have come across some interesting articles and websites about landscape paintings.

Landscape Atelier had a recent article:  “Why ‘Paint What You See’ is Not Good Advice”.  The big message to me was that you have to learn to see before you can paint what you see.  It sounds odd, but the more a persons draws and paints, the better one sees.  I figure I’m in the learning to see a landscape mode.

The Artist Daily had a quick slide on pocket sketching.

Urban Sketchers and the Seattle Sketchers provide plenty of inspiration.  I like the loose, simple work of the watercolor study.

If you’d like to see more of my “Drawing Talent” watercolor sketches, check on the blog posts by category on my side bar.

Thanks!

 

 

 

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Studio Snapshot – Organizing Beads In Paper Boxes

This past week I was looking for some beads for a project I was working on and realized that my bead “collection” was totally out of control. I had well over 100 little plastic baggies full of beads. Looking through all those baggies just wasn’t efficient.

My new bead organization in progress. I'm making little paper boxes and sorting my beads by color.

My new bead organization in progress. I’m making little paper boxes and sorting my beads by color.

Then I remembered how organized my friend Michelle’s beads were. So, off to Michaels for some clear plastic boxes that were designed to hold scrapbook paper. I bought a number of these boxes and made little paper boxes to hold all my beads. With little boxes, I can easily rearrange the beads if necessary.

Close up showing how I sorted my beads by color.

Close up showing how I sorted my beads by color.

It took me a couple of days to make the paper boxes and a couple more to sort through all my beads. I know I have some more red beads and some more paper beads, but I haven’t found them yet. When I find them, I’ll rearrange the boxes once more so I have like colors together.

Paper beads, green beads, earth tone beads and an empty box waiting to be filled.

Paper beads, green beads, earth tone beads and an empty box yet to be filled.

Once I got my beads sorted into my paper boxes, I realized that I really needed lids for the boxes so the beads wouldn’t spill into neighboring boxes while I was moving the plastic box they were in. I also realized that I wanted clear plastic lids so I could easily see the beads without having to open all the boxes.

I made clear plastic lids for my paper boxes so I can see exactly what beads are inside and protect them from spilling while I'm carrying the container.

I made clear plastic lids for my paper boxes so I can see exactly what beads are inside and protect them from spilling while I’m carrying the container.

My answer was to take used clear plastic container lids and cut out a 2″ by 3.5″ rectangle. I scored and folded .75″ on both of the long sides of the plastic so I ended up with a 2″ square with .75″ flaps on 2 sides. I then slipped the flaps into the sides of the box and I had my clear plastic lid. (See photo above. Both bead boxes on the left have clear plastic lids on them.)

Now I'm able to see all my beads at a glance. It was well worth the effort!

Now I’m able to see all my beads at a glance. It was well worth the effort!

Enjoy, Candy

Stefan Baumann at Southern Oregon Society of Artists 7/27

Southern Oregon Society of Artists

Monday, July 27, 7pm

Program Members Art Critique, Stefan Baumann, Juror

Medford Library 205 S. Central Ave

Free, open to public

Contact 1-520-471-5046

 

Illumination of Mt Shasta from Tule Lake, oil painting by Stefan Baumann, acclaimed landscape and wildlife artist,  judge at Southern Oregon Society of Artists critique Monday, July 27, 2015.

Illumination of Mt Shasta from Tule Lake, oil painting by Stefan Baumann, acclaimed landscape and wildlife artist, juror at Southern Oregon Society of Artists critique Monday, July 27, 2015.

Southern Oregon Society of Artists will show their work for critique on Monday, July 27, at the Medford library with Stefan Baumann as juror. The public is invited to attend. Critique participation is open only to current members of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA). Refreshments will be provided.

Mr. Baumann, an artist for 35 years, is also the creator of the PBS series, “The Grand View: America’s National Parks Through the Eyes of an Artist” featuring more than 20 parks. He teaches oil painting at Central Art Supply in Medford on Thursdays and from his studio at Grand View Ranch in Mount Shasta. Information and image galleries of his work can be found at stefanbaumann.com

DIY Ladybug Card – Perfect For Making With Children

Ladybugs are universally thought of to bring good luck. No one seems to know why ladybugs came to be viewed as lucky or why this is common in many different cultures. So after running across a wonderful ladybug quote, I decided I wanted to make it into a cute little card. The result is a project that is perfect for sitting down with some young children and making some ladybugs and cards them.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

An alternative would be to make one of these cards and send it to a child along with some “extra” little ladybugs. These little ladybugs can be made in a variety of sizes and can be modified in a number of different ways. Have fun playing with them.

The above photo shows the steps to make a paper ladybug. I started with a 3" square of red paper, but they can be made any size.

The above photo shows the steps to make a paper ladybug. I started with a 3″ square of red paper, but they can be made any size.

Instructions for making a paper ladybug:

1. Cut a 3″ square out of a red piece of text weight paper.

2. Fold the paper into a triangle (#2 above)

3. Fold the bottom left corner up to the top of the triangle (#3 above)

4. Repeat with the right corner (#4 above)

5. Using a circle template (I used a spice jar lid) make a pencil line around the open end of your folded ladybug. See #5 above which shows the way the circle is drawn.

6. Cut along the pencil lines you made (#6 above)

7. Open up your folded paper and color the section that will be under the ladybug’s wings black. I used a black coptic marker, but any black marker will work. (#7 above)

8. Fold your ladybug back up and using a black marker, color her face black (#8 above)

9. Make black circles on her wings. You can also make white dots for her eyes. A white paint marker or gel marker works well for this (#9 above)

For the card, I drew a dashed line and wrote “Ladybug . . .” on the front and hand lettered the inside in my own ordinary printing. I think it would be fun for children to write the quote themselves and have it reduced on a photocopier for the card. Another possibility would be to do the writing on a computer.

Front of the Ladybug Card. On this ladybug, I trimmed her wings just a little to make a bit of a curve.

Front of the Ladybug Card. On this ladybug, I trimmed her wings just a little to make a bit of a curve.

After I finished my ladybug, I decided to curve her wings just a little. You can play around with other possibilities. You could make legs and antenna. Have fun with your ladybug. Make multiple ladybugs. Try making different sizes. Make other bugs in other colors. Play and enjoy!

The quote I found:

Ladybug . . . a good luck symbol. It’s believed she first came to earth by lightening sent by the Goddess of Love and Beauty. When she swoops in, it’s to remind us that life is short, and not let worries cloud a single day. Author Unknown

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

Perfect card to send to friends who love ladybugs or to the children in your life.

Enjoy, Candy

Drawing: Still Life with Coffee Cup & Vase

Drawing:  Still Life with Coffee Cup & Vase

Graphite on paper
6.5×9
2015

I continue to work on my drawing skills.  I’m taking a classical drawing class with a local artist, Sarah F. Burns.  I’m enjoying the learning environment.

With this particular still life drawing, I used a coffee cup and clay vase I collected while living in Germany.   My focus is on learning how to draw the forms.

Please enjoy!

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The post Drawing: Still Life with Coffee Cup & Vase appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy & Art Retreat

For the past 7 days, my studio has been an 6 foot long table in a shared studio space with 11 other calligraphers and artists from Oregon, Washington and California. It is an annual retreat where I get to do whatever calligraphy and art I want to do for an entire week. I don’t have to cook or do housework.

These are 2 magnetic closure books that I made following the instructions Lili shared with us. The covers are watercolors I made this past week too.

These are 2 magnetic closure watercolor journals that I made following the instructions Lily shared with us. I made the covers using watercolors.

This week-long Calligraphy and Art Retreat has been going on for many years. It’s been sponsored by different calligraphy guilds over the years, but it’s always held at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon which overlooks the Columbia River. We can do art, swim, sleep, hike, relax and have our meals prepared for us by their wonderful kitchen staff.

Two variations I made based on Elizabeth's instructions of the tiny tab book.

Two variations I made based on Elizabeth’s instructions of the tiny tab book.

Elizabeth's magnetic closure journal with my studio table in the background.

Elizabeth’s magnetic closure journal with my studio table in the background.

I always come home with lots of new ideas and renewed enthusiasm. The format for this retreat is that we can work on whatever we want. There are 4 hours a day of quiet time where we know we can work uninterrupted. At other times there are informal demonstrations, discussions and sharing that we can attend or not.

Some of Kay's work. 2 journals and 3 paintings, resting on the window above her work table.

Some of Kay’s work, 2 journals and 3 paintings, resting on the window above her work table.

One of Lili's creations. The card folds to fit in the little black envelope.

One of Lily’s creations. The card folds to fit in the little black envelope that’s on the left.

This year, Lili taught some of us how to make a journal with a magnetic closure. Elizabeth demonstrated how to make a mini tab book and a few more folded cards and books. Kay demonstrated some acrylic painting techniques as well as how to make 3D letters. Susan demonstrated techniques she uses in making art on cradled art panels.

Susan is demonstrating her warm up exercises using various tools and brushes.

Susan is demonstrating her warm up exercises using various tools and brushes.

Sally's warm-up calligraphy. I found these stacked on a chair by her work station.

Sally’s warm-up calligraphy. I found these stacked on a chair by her work station.

My goal for the week was to practice with the pointed pen. I took a mini class on the pointed pen in May and I wanted to spend some time working on the alphabet. Michelle, who is a master of the pointed pen, kindly gave me some extremely helpful pointers.

Thanks to Michelle's pointers, my pointed pen calligraphy is coming along.

Thanks to Michelle’s pointers, my pointed pen calligraphy is coming along.

We use every possible flat space to put our art as our tables aren't big enough to hold all our stuff. Here are some of Michelle's wonderful cards on a TV stand.

We use every possible flat space to put our art as our tables aren’t big enough to hold all our stuff. Here are some of Michelle’s wonderful cards on a TV stand.

I am more energized from this years retreat than ever. Everything is unpacked and put away. My drafting table is clear and as soon as I am through with this blog post, I’m looking forward to doing art for the rest of the day.

Elizabeth's acrylic painting, as taught by Kay.

Elizabeth’s acrylic painting, after Kay’s demonstration..

Renae's work in progress from a photo.

Renae’s work in progress from a photo.

Some of Michelle's bleach painting works in progress.

Some of Michelle’s bleach painting works in progress.

One of Susan's multi media flower series on cradle board.

One of Susan’s multi media flower series on a cradled art panel.

Another of Susan's collages on a cradled wood panel. Is it finished yet?

Another of Susan’s collages on a cradled wood panel. Is it finished yet?

Nancy's watercolor in progress from a photo.

Nancy’s watercolor in progress from a photo.

Another of Nancy's watercolors made into a card. She used one of my paste papers behind her art to show off her flowers.

Another of Nancy’s watercolors made into a card. She used one of my paste papers behind her art to show off her flowers.

And did I mention great food?

And did I mention great food?

Renee's unique thank you card to Ruthie.

Renae’s unique thank you card to Ruthie.

More of Sally's works in progress.

More of Sally’s works in progress.

Elizabeth's meander fold book.

Elizabeth’s diamond-fold maze book.

One of Sally's backgrounds that she painted. She sells a book called Background Blitz which explains how she makes many of her beautiful backgrounds.

One of Sally’s backgrounds that she painted. She sells a book called Background Blitz which explains how she makes many of her beautiful backgrounds.

View from Menucha Retreat and Conference Center overlooking the Columbia River. What an inspiring place to come to each year to make art!

View from Menucha Retreat and Conference Center overlooking the Columbia River. What an inspiring place to come to each year to make art!

Somehow I managed not to get photos of Edna’s, Judy’s or Sam’s work. I’m so sorry, because they all do such great work too.

I love my fellow artists and look forward to transporting my studio, once again next year, to Menucha.

Happy creating, Candy

Tapered Roll Fold

A tapered roll fold is a type fold used in the printing industry for brochures. I thought this fold would work for either a book or a card. Here is what I created using this fold.

Finished tapered roll fold, perfect for a card or small book.

Finished tapered roll fold, perfect for a card or small book.

I started by cutting a piece of watercolor paper and cut it 5″ high, making it 5″ by 22″. I painted an almost rainbow like graduated wash on the paper and added a bit of sea salt.

This is how the watercolor paper looks while wet. I hav ejust sprinkled the salt on the paper.

This is how the watercolor paper looks while wet. I hav ejust sprinkled the salt on the paper.

This is how the watercolor looks when dried.

This is how the watercolor looks when dried.

After the paper dried, I cut off one end and folded at 4″. I then wrapped the paper around and folded until I had 5 sections. I cut off the remaining bit on the other end.

This shows the 5 folds and the pieces cut off each of the ends.

This shows the 5 folds and the pieces cut off each of the ends.

I cut the taper on three of the folds. See photo below.

Here the taper has been cut.

Here the taper has been cut.

All that’s left is to roll the paper around itself. There is so much potential in this fold. I’m thinking it could be a fun soft cover for a little book. It would make a great greeting card too.

Front of the tapered roll fold. How about a slit for the taper to slip into?

Front of the tapered roll fold. How about a slit for the taper to slip into?

I’m thinking that it could have a slit in the cover for the taper to slide into. I can see that I’m going to be playing with this fold for a while. There are so many things I could do with this.

Here's what the back of the tapered roll fold looks like.

Here’s what the back of the tapered roll fold looks like.

Vertically, the tapered roll fold looks a little like a purse.

Vertically, the tapered roll fold looks a little like a purse.

Vertical tapered roll fold as seen from the back.

Vertical tapered roll fold as seen from the back.

Note: If you make this fold, you will want to make sure you are making your folds with the direction of the grain of the paper. If you don’t know what that means, you can check out my blog post: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy Practice While Camping

It’s been hot here in the valley recently, hot as in lots of over 100 degree days. So I took off this past week with a bunch of friends for camping at a mountain lake.

Practice pages from my journal along with my pocket brush pen.

Practice pages from my journal along with my pocket brush.

I camped in my trusty old VW camper where space is at a premium. Food, camping supplies and a few clothes took up most of the available space in my small camper. So, I only took my sketchbook and my pocket brush pen which I need to work on perfecting consistent pressure.

More practicing with my pocket brush.

More practicing with my pocket brush.

I was able to pack them in a small bag which was easy to take from campsite to campsite as we all visited and relaxed together. Having a very portable art studio with me worked out great. There was lots of down time where I could just practice.

Happy camping, Candy

DIY – Paper Dahlia Wreath

My friend, Beverly, grows the most amazing dahlias. She has always shared her dahlias with me, until this year. My dahlia supply has dried up since Beverly is now traveling in her motorhome for the next year or so. Great for Beverly, but I’ve been missing my dahlias.

Finished dahlia wreath on my front door.

Finished dahlia wreath on my front door.

So, when I saw some dahlia wreaths on the internet, I had to jump in and try to make one of my own. I felt that yellows felt right for summer. And, by wonderful coincidence, I happened to have a treasure trove of the perfect yellow color papers.

I used my dinner plate as a template to cut the base for my dahlia wreath. The two yellow colored paper cones were glued to the base to make the dahlia flower petals.

I used my dinner plate as a template for the base for my wreath. The yellow paper cones are waiting to be glued to the base to become the dahlia flower petals.

I started by cutting a circle of cardboard. One of my dinner plates looked like the perfect size for the base of my wreath. It turned out to be 10.25″ in diameter. I cut lots of yellow 4″ squares of paper in both light and bright yellow. These I rolled into paper cones (see photos) and glued the paper with glue stick.

The beginning of my dahlia wreath.

The beginning of my dahlia wreath. I’m using a glue gun to glue the cones to the cardboard base.

I punched 2 holes in the cardboard backing and laced ribbon through it. That will be how the hanger when the wreath is finished.

The first row of paper cones is now glued on the cardboard base.

The first row of paper cones is now glued on the cardboard base.

It took an awful lot of paper cones. If I make another dahlia wreath, I think I will make the cones a little larger so I won’t need quite so many.

Second row of paper cones glued.

Second row of paper cones glued.

I flattened the cones slightly and glued the first row about an inch in from the edge, using a glue gun. I glued the second row about an inch in from the first.

For the third row, I changed to a lighter yellow cone.

For the third row, I changed to a lighter yellow cone.

After two rows of the yellow, I changed to a lighter yellow for the rest of the wreath. I’m still flattening the bottoms and gluing in about 1″ from the previous row.

Four rows of paper cones have now been glued to the cardboard base.

Four rows of paper cones have now been glued to the cardboard base.

After completing 4 rows of paper cones, I added another row, this time gluing them in a little further than in the previous rows. The result is that the cones are just a little shorter than in the previous rows.

Here I've added a couple more rows to the dahlia wreath.

Here I’ve glued a fifth row of paper cones to the dahlia wreath.

After the fifth row, I cut my papers in 3″ squares rather than the 4″ squares of the previous rows. I kept putting the new cones in until there was no more room. The wreath was finished. I just tied the ribbon on the back to the right length and hung my wreath.

My finished dahlia wreath.

My finished paper dahlia wreath.

I love it!

Enjoy, Candy

Art Show Presentation, RVM

 

About the Video

This is a video of an art show presentation I gave on 1 July, 2015 to the residents of the Rogue Valley Manor (RVM).  Location was the Deschutes Gallery, Skyline Plaza Building.

In this video, I give the audience a brief outline of my background, including such classical influences as Picasso and Pogo.  Then, I talk about my watercolor studies and work. I focus my discussion on composing with color, light and shape.  The art show collection includes my “Toy Pony”, “MsKitty” and “Just Sayin’…” series of paintings.

Art Show Thank You’s

Thank you to Mr. Dick Warren (Art Committee, Deschutes Gallery, Rogue Valley Manor) for inviting me to show my work at the Rogue Valley Manor, Deschutes Gallery (Skyline Plaza).

Thank you to Mr. Bill Coleman and Mr. Warren for hanging the art show.

Thanks to my aunt Mary Thornton for her enthusiasm, inspiration and for introducing me to the Deschutes Gallery.

Thanks to my husband Robert for helping me prepare and photographing the presentation.

Where to View The Art Show

The art show is open to the public during business hours, July 1st through July 31st.  The Rogue Valley Manor – Skyline Plaza is located at 1200 Mira Mar Ave, Medford OR.

PS

I’d like to show a few photos from “hanging day”.  Mr. Warren, Mr. Coleman, Robert, Aunt Mary, and I made quick work of hanging 27 paintings.  My job was attaching title cards to the correct paintings.

Art Show at Deschutes Gallery, Rogue Valley Manor

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